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New Hampshire Gun Control Laws

Gun control is a hot topic of debate in the U.S., pitting federal constitutional protections against public safety concerns. The regulation of firearms is done mostly at the state level, with plenty of variation among different states and regions.

For example, some states require a waiting period before purchasing a gun and have additional restrictions on the carrying of handguns, while other states are much more permissive.

The federal government has limited authority over firearms (see the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm's explanation of the National Firearms Act to learn more).

New Hampshire Gun Control Laws at a Glance

New Hampshire is relatively permissive with respect to firearms and does not require a waiting period for gun purchases. Additional details of New Hampshire's gun control laws are listed below. See Gun Laws for related information.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Revised Statutes of New Hampshire, Title XII, Chapters 159 through 159-D, Sections 159:1 through 159-D:3

Illegal Arms

New Hampshire does not prohibit specific types of firearms.

Waiting Period

New Hampshire has no waiting period for purchasing a firearm.

Who May Not Own

A person may not own a firearm in New Hampshire if they have been convicted of the following offenses:
  • A felony against the person or property of another
  • A felony under RSA 318-B
  • A felony relating to controlled drugs

License Required?

New Hampshire does not require a license to purchase or own a gun.

Concealed Carry License Required?

A person may carry a concealed firearm in New Hampshire if they are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm. No permit or license is required.

Open Carried Allowed?

Open carry generally is permitted in New Hampshire unless a person is otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm. No permit or license is required.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

A license is not required to carry a concealed firearm, but New Hampshire continues to offer a license. To obtain a license a person must have good reason to fear injury to their person or property or have any proper purpose, such as hunting, target shooting, or self-defense. A person may not obtain a license if they are prohibited from owning a possessing a firearm by New Hampshire or federal law.

Machine Gun Laws

New Hampshire does restrict the possession or ownership of machine guns, but federal law limits who may own a machine gun.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

  • Possessing a firearm while a convicted felon is a class B felony punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment and up to a $4,000 fine
  • A person with 3 or more felony convictions for certain violent offenses and drug crimes is considered an armed career criminal. Possessing a firearm as an armed career criminal is a felony punishable by a minimum mandatory term of 10 years imprisonment, a maximum term of imprisonment of up to 40 years, and up to a $25,000 fine

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

New Hampshire does not prohibit the general public from possessing firearms on school property.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

New Hampshire Gun Control Laws: Related Resources

Have You Been Charged With a Gun Crime?

If you face state or federal gun charges, contact an experienced attorney who can help protect your freedoms. You can find a qualified attorney in New Hampshire through our directory.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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